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27th February, 2024 Environment


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/electricity-rights-of-consumers-rules-2020-167818

Context: The newly amended Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, introduced by the Ministry of Power, focus on boosting rooftop solar power adoption, empowering consumers, and facilitating electric vehicle (EV) owners.

Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules 2020

Amendment Area

Detailed Explanation

Rooftop Solar Systems

No technical feasibility study needed for systems up to 10kW: This removes a major bureaucratic hurdle, making it much easier and less time-consuming for consumers to install smaller rooftop solar systems.

Reduced feasibility study timeline (15 days) for systems above 10kW: While larger systems still require a study, the process has been expedited to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources.

New Connections & Modifications

Reduced timelines across the board: The process of getting a new connection or modifying an existing one is significantly faster. Metropolitan areas now have an extremely short 7-day timeline, while other areas have a 15-day timeline. This improvement enhances consumer experience and responsiveness from power companies.


Consumer right to request 'check meters': This empowers consumers who suspect issues with meter readings or billing accuracy. It provides a mechanism to verify energy consumption and ensure fair billing practices.

Simplified smart meter regulations: Rules around smart meter installation and usage have been made simpler, preventing complications for consumers and promoting the adoption of this technology.

Reduced penalties for exceeding sanctioned load: Consumers now face lesser penalties if their electricity demand temporarily exceeds their agreed-upon limit. This change provides a degree of flexibility and avoids excessive punishment in cases of unintentional usage spikes.

Time of Day (ToD) Tariff

Electricity price linked to time of use: The cost of electricity now fluctuates based on the time of day. Peak usage periods will likely be more expensive. This change aims to manage grid load by encouraging consumers to use energy during off-peak hours when it's potentially cheaper.

Consumer Rights – Billing & Complaints

Enhanced billing rights: The amendments establish specific rights regarding transparent billing, accurate calculations, and on-time delivery of bills. This ensures consumers are fully informed about their charges and how they are calculated.

Strengthened complaint system: Multiple levels of consumer forums are in place to ensure complaints are heard and resolved promptly. Consumers have a clear path for addressing issues and getting fair resolutions.


Guaranteed compensation for service failures: Clear guidelines now stipulate compensation amounts and deadlines. Consumers will receive financial compensation if power utilities fail to meet service standards, such as timely new connections or the avoidance of unjustified power disruptions.

Prosumer Rights

Enhanced support for solar power adoption: 'Prosumers', who generate some of their own electricity (usually through solar), are guaranteed fair treatment when selling excess power back to the grid and interacting with the power utility. This supports renewable energy adoption at an individual level.

Key ways in which these amendments aim to achieve its objectives

Streamlining Rooftop Solar Installation

  • Feasibility Study Simplification: Previously, distribution companies (DISCOMs) were required to conduct a technical feasibility study for rooftop solar projects within 20 days of application submission. The recent amendments have reduced this period to 15 days.
  • Presumption of Feasibility: If the feasibility study is not completed within the stipulated time, it is now presumed that the proposal is technically feasible. This change eliminates the need for DISCOMs to wait for the completion of a feasibility study before accepting an application for solar panel installation.
  • Deemed Acceptance for Smaller Systems: Solar PV systems with a capacity of up to 10 kilowatts are deemed accepted without requiring a feasibility study, further simplifying the process for smaller installations.
  • Distribution System Strengthening: The amendments allow DISCOMs to include the expenditure on strengthening distribution infrastructure for rooftop solar projects (up to 5 kilowatts or higher) in their revenue requirements, with the exact capacity determined by state electricity regulatory commissions.

Empowering Consumers in Residential Societies

  • Individual v/s Single-Point Connection: The rules empower consumers in residential societies to choose between individual connections for each household or a single-point connection through a transparent ballot conducted by the distribution licensee.
  • Criteria for Individual Connections: If more than 50% of the owners opt for individual connections, each house or flat owner will be provided with an individual connection. The DISCOM will handle metering, billing, and collection for individual connections.
  • Single-Point Connection: If owners opt for a single-point connection for the entire premises, the residential association will manage metering, billing, and collection on a no-profit-no-loss basis.

Accelerating New Electricity Connections and EV Charging Infrastructure

  • Reduced Timeline for New Connections: The amendments have significantly reduced the time required for obtaining a new electricity connection or modifying an existing one. In metropolitan areas, the period has been reduced from seven to three days, in other municipal areas from 15 to seven days, and in rural areas from 30 to 15 days.
  • EV Charging Point Connection: For the first time, the rules explicitly mention electric vehicles. DISCOMs are now obligated to provide a separate connection for the supply of electricity to an EV charging point if requested by a consumer. This aligns with the increasing focus on electric mobility and facilitates quicker adoption by ensuring timely power supply infrastructure.


  • These amendments aim to create a more conducive environment for the adoption of rooftop solar, enhance consumer choice and participation, and support the growing demand for electric vehicles by streamlining the process of obtaining electricity connections for charging points.

Must Read Articles:

AMENDMENTS TO THE ELECTRICITY (RIGHTS OF CONSUMERS) RULES, 2020:  https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/amendments-to-the-electricity-rights-of-consumers-rules-2020


Q. Should India prioritize building a domestic renewable energy manufacturing industry, or is reliance on imports a more cost-effective strategy? What are the long-term implications of each approach for job creation and technological self-sufficiency?